Talented New Zealand chef Lance McKenzie, Executive Chef Rococo has made Noosa his home.
Born in Dunedin New Zealand Lance has been a chef for more than 17 years. For as long as he can remember, he wanted to be a chef, having always been drawn to cooking and the industry.
An 80’s child, Lance completed his studies at the Otago Culinary Cooking School, New Zealand. Whilst studying Lance worked as an apprentice under renowned chef Rene’ Klien at New Zealand’s fine dining restaurant; Restaurant 95, where his passion for European cuisine began.
After completing a coveted three-year internship, Lance was then left to explore and hone his new found skills working under Head Chef; Peter Gawron at Saffron restaurant in New Zealand before taking his culinary expertise to Melbourne Australia at three hat restaurant; Vue De Monde and fortunately for Rococo taking over as Executive Chef in 2009. Under Lance’s direction Rococo has been awarded numerous awards: Best European Restaurant in Qld 2012,13,14; The Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat for six years.
In 2012, Lance was approached by the Four Seasons Shanghai as their guest chef, implementing a pop-up restaurant designed to mirror the Rococo experience with his menu showcasing Australian produce. Due to the overwhelming success of this campaign, Lance was then fortunate to be invited by Four Seasons Canada to take on the role of Executive Sous Chef overseeing the many restaurants within this hotel.
When asked who was his inspiration to the industry? The clear winner was Marco Pier White, the first English and youngest chef to receive three Michelin Stars. Lance’s passion and vision for the cooking industry is, he says, “I love the fact that the industry is constantly evolving. There is always a chef somewhere in the world doing something unique and special at any given time. This keeps everyone on their toes and keeps everyone pushing the boundaries and making new discoveries in the cooking world. It’s incredibly exciting! The world of food is so dynamic. I hope to never lose sight of how important and refreshing it is to keep discovering new foods, trends, flavours, cultures, techniques, and thereby inspiring creativity!”